Afternoon of February 1, 2018. Thursday.
It begins like this. A person gets undressed for bed. Perhaps he or she sits or lies in bed for a time, while undressed, before going to sleep. Perhaps they watch television or talk on the telephone while undressed in bed in their preparation to go to sleep. They might think about recent social encounters as they sit or lie in bed, while preparing for sleep, while undressed. Later, they might have a dream of being undressed, perhaps in public, and then after waking, wonder “what it could mean”. Still, it is neither my place nor purpose to make light of society’s unfathomable buffoonery and shortsightedness in my public dream journal.
This entry focuses mainly on first-level dream state indicators. In this case, beds, bed sheets, and pillows are the focus as a reference entry to link (viable dream journal websites only, as on other sites it will just remain as a singular post).
Because dream state indicators of this nature occur in over twenty percent of my dreams, which I consider as quite natural and obvious, I have created this no-brainer reference entry for people who might otherwise puzzle over what this or that means in my dream journal. Still, there are specific threads of meaning depending on when and how a dream state indicator is rendered, especially if it is separate from other elements. (For example, although I often fly with a bed sheet as a “cloak” or “cape”, a bed as a flight symbol is uncommon.)
A bed could easily serve as either induction symbolism or waking transition symbolism. I do not consider it as pure autosymbolism since I relate autosymbolism as non-literal factors within the dream state (even though liminal space symbolism is analogically literal to real-life liminal space settings). For example, a bed in a parking lot (as I have actually dreamt a few times) would be a dream state indicator rendered into liminal space autosymbolism, even though this is a form of composite redundancy, where both factors, bed and parking lot, are indicative of being between dreaming and waking.
When I was very young, I used to see dream state indicators as a minimal form of RAS mediation (even serving to subliminally ground me to my real environment) to remind my dream self that my physical body is unconscious. In a way, that is still true, though I tend to see it more as a biological factor that carries over into the dream state, as impressions of one’s real environment often carry over into the dream state, especially the tactile nature of pillows and bed sheets. Even so, it could also just be a residual subliminal memory of having fallen asleep (assuming a deeper state of unconsciousness where environmental factors are not as influential).
I have often used a bed sheet or blanket to cover my body (when otherwise nude) in both lucid and non-lucid flying dreams (and certainly not because of modesty, as who cares about modesty in the dream state, but because of the realism of certain environmental factors in dreams, such as twigs and roof features). This validates that my dream self is aware of the status of my physical body, at least to a degree. Of course, in lucid dreams I do this on purpose, though in non-lucid dreams, it is a carryover factor, unrelated to waking life since the carryover is by habit of dream state awareness, not waking life focus. (One would assume this as obvious, but as I have learned, especially since 2013, empty-headedness, especially when it comes to understanding the dream state, is a dominant factor in many people.)
Pillows are in contrast to bed sheets as a dream state indicator in some dreams due to their association with vivid hypnagogia in childhood dreams. I saw pillows, mainly only those of one pale color, as a sort of hypnagogic “television” (even before I ever watched much television in reality.) By shifting my dream self’s gaze from pillow imagery to my dream’s much larger environment, I could vivify my dream and in contrast, by pulling the dream content in my dream’s larger environment “back” into my dream’s pillow, an implied threat becoming smaller and two-dimensional, restricted to the surface of my pillowcase, it became far less of an implied threat. This may be why I have rarely ever had significant nightmares other than singular examples when biologically premonitory.
Beds in unusual locations are as so, because a dream state indicator is typically unrelated to the rest of a dream’s content other than in the redundant example given above; bed in parking lot; though a bed in a lake is induction symbolism (as water is autosymbolism for entry into the dream state, and as a result, even a glass of water splashed in the face can vivify a dream).
There are times when dream state indicators of this kind are prescient, for example, in foreshadowing an illness. This includes cloaked figures (though not always) as a bed sheet or blanket association. There were two recent dreams about two of our sons, both related to them being in bed and somewhat tired, and both prior to a serious (though short-term) illness. One of these dreams included a cloaked figure of our youngest son’s height. However, such dreams also have a specific mood, which I hope to learn to hone in on to a more viable extent. Additionally, actually being tired in a dream (not necessarily being in bed) is an entirely different concept than just being in bed or seeing a bed incidentally, and usually indicates actual physical tiredness (at least for me).